3 min read

đź“™ Fire and Fury

đź“™ Fire and Fury

I pre-ordered the electronic version through Apple’s iBooks and read a big chunk over the first weekend.

Overall impression: Some folks are going to have some sleepless nights in the next few weeks and months. There were some grammar/edit mistakes and Wolff’s writing style took me a few pages to get used to. It was good

My notes from the book (quotes preceeding my notes):

The media, adopting a “shocked, shocked” morality, could not fathom how being factually wrong was not an absolute ending in itself. How could this not utterly shame him? How could his staff defend him? The facts were the facts! Defying them, or ignoring them, or subverting them, made you a liar – intending to deceive, bearing false witness. (A minor journalism controversy broke out about whether these untruths should be called inaccuracies or lies.)
— p. 170

Not only was this the first section I highlighted, it’s the one that is the most damaging. How do you argue with someone who doesn’t/can’t acknowledge facts?

You can’t.

It was one of the key elements of Bannon’s understanding of Trump: the last person Trump speaks to ended up with enormous influence.
— p. 217

If you haven’t experienced a leader who follows this process, you’ll have a hard time believing it.

It’s an easy and cowardly way to make decisions without having to own the outcomes.

You could hardly find an entity more at odds with military discipline than a Trump organization. There was no real up-and-down structure, but merely a figure at the top and then everyone else scrambling for his attention.
— p. 380

Couple this piece with the previous one.

Can you picture it?

Good management reduces ego. But in the Trump White House, it could often seem that nothing happened, that reality simply did not exist, if it did not happen in Trump’s presence. This made an upside-down kind of sense: if something happened and he wasn’t present, he didn’t care about it and barely recognized it.
— p. 382

An incredible passage.

Possibly the most damning statement in the book.

Among the three men with effectively equal rank in the West Wing–Priebus and Bannon and Kushner–only a shared contempt kept them from ganging up on one another.
— p. 388

Sense a theme developing here?

Ten weeks into the new administration, the Trump White House had lost, after Michael Flynn, its second senior staff member–and the one whose job it was to actually get things done.
— p. 588

This environment is actually awesome for someone who’s job it is to get things done. Moving quickly and decisively through different discussions and debates without taking ownership of any success is refreshing and satisfying.

This environment must have been really bad.

Men who demand the most loyalty tend to be the least loyal pricks,” noted a sardonic Ailes (a man who himself demanded lots of loyalty).
— p. 669

The most damning statement in the book.

And probably the most obvious.